Residents to vote on Granada-Huntley-East Chain referendum in November

This November, voters in the Granada-Huntley-East Chain School District will decide on a referendum that aims to address a nearly 50% jump in students.
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 9:37 PM CDT
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GRANADA, Minn. (KEYC) - This November, voters in the Granada-Huntley-East Chain School District will decide on a referendum that aims to address a nearly 50% jump in students over the past few years.

”We want to create as many benefits and make ourselves comparable to a bigger school without going to a bigger school atmosphere,” GHEC Superintendent Doug Storbeck said.

In the past few years, student enrollment has gone up nearly 50%. Taking into account this increase, the Granada-Huntley-East Chain School District has placed a referendum on this year’s election ballot. Question one is gaining approval of the $1.9 million bond, and question two would lower their operating levy by $200.

“Rather than just paying for building the addition through the general education tax fund, which would be 100% covered by our taxpayers,” Storbeck said.

About 80% of the school district is ag land, and the Ag-to-School Tax Credit will increase to 70% by the time they have this in place.

“That means that through the Ag-to-School Tax Credit, the state would cover approximately 56% of the total cost of the building addition,” Storbeck said.

This will allow the district to bring in more elementary students.

“Right now, we feel we have to be a bit restrictive in allowing student capacity just because we don’t want to take away from the overall education of the students by having too many students in the classroom,” Storbeck explained. “As an offset, we’re looking at lowering the operating levy at the same time.”

The question then in November is whether the district should pay for the expansion fully, or if the state will pay.